2015 Sham Stakes Preview
Saturday will showcase the 2015 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park. 8 horses will go postward at 1 Mile on the main track in the Grade 3 prep race. The top four horses will be awarded points towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. It will go off as race number 6 and scheduled post time is 6:07 PM Eastern Time.
1 St. Joe Bay (8-1 Morning Line) – He broke his maiden at Santa Anita by 10 lengths in his second start, albeit at the Maiden Claiming $75,000 level. After that he ran in back-to-back Grade 3 races on synthetic and turf. He ran well in those losing by less than 2 lengths in each one finishing third and fourth. The move back to dirt and the rail position should keep him in the running for a piece.
2. Pioneerof The West (12-1 ML) – The longest shot on the morning line is also the most experienced horse. He has 5 career races with 1 win and a second place. He ran a close 5th in his second career race in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf before finishing 2nd in his third race on the dirt. He broke his maiden in his fourth start before being crushed in his latest start, the Eddie Logan (9th by 12 lengths). He seems to be a step below these right now.
3. Rockinatten (7-2 ML) – He has three races and all came in South Florida. His last race was his maiden breaker winning by 8 3/4 lengths after getting into a speed duel. Now he moves to the barn of Doug O’Neill and makes his first start around two turns. Given how he ran at 7 furlongs, the distance should not be a problem. From a win angle, it is probably best to wait and see if he can run in this spot after the barn change.
4. Unblunted (6-1 ML) – After breaking his maiden at Santa Anita in his second start, he tried going longer on all-weather in the Gold Rush. He ran an even race, but was unable to make up ground and finished 5th while beaten 3 1/2 lengths. While that was his first route race, this is another to pass on given the fact he could not beat weaker in the Gold Rush.
5. Rock Shandy (8-1 ML) – Here is an interesting case of a turf horse trying dirt for the first time. He ran his three career races on turf finishing first and third in his last two. The latest was the Grade 3 Del Mar Mile where he lost by 2 lengths. While he certainly appears best suited to stay on turf, this is not a bad position to try him on dirt. If he can handle dirt and stay off the pace, he can have a solid chance here.
6. Papacoolpapacool (8-1 ML) – Another one who is making his first career start on dirt. He has four races, all on turf, with a win, a second, a third, and a sixth place finish. The last came in the Grade 3 Del Mar Mile where he was simply outkicked in the stretch. He too has mainly a turf pedigree, but he finished behind Rock Shandy last out.
7. Calculator (8-5 ML) – The morning line favorite is the only horse in this race to NOT have a win on his resume. So why is he the favorite? His back-to-back second place finishes in the Grade 1 races the Del Mar Futurity and the Frontrunner. Both times he finished behind American Pharoah, one of the top 2 year olds in 2014 on the West Coast. He has not raced since the Frontrunner at Santa Anita on September 27, but he has trained quite well leading up to this race. He certainly figures to be right there in this race.
8. Hero Ten All (4-1 ML) – His first race was a second place finish to Dortmund, who is currently 3 for 3 in his career including the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity. Hero Ten All came back to win his second race at 1 mile while coming from off the pace. He figures prominently in this spot and will be contending for the win.
1. Hero Ten All
3. St. Joe Bay
4. Rock Shandy
Check back on Saturday night for a review of the race.